Thomas Galvin, Chief of Police
23 Linden St.
Berlin, MA 01503
Monday, April 2, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Berlin Police Warn Residents about Scams Involving Tax Returns
BERLIN — With the tax deadline approaching, Chief Thomas Galvin and the Berlin Police Department would like to advise the community to be careful with their personal and financial information when filing.
“Unfortunately, we tend to see a rise in scams during tax season where callers claim to be from the IRS or other government organizations,” Chief Galvin said. “Please consider the information provided to protect yourself from becoming a victim, and if you are ever unsure about a potential scam, hang up the phone and call us right away.”
One popular scam involves citizens trying to file their taxes electronically, only to learn they had already been submitted by another entity. Residents are encouraged to complete and file their taxes as soon as possible to give potential scammers less time and opportunity to submit a refund using their information.
Other scams that have been known to occur, especially during tax season, include scammers calling residents claiming to be from the IRS or another government body. The “agent” informs victims that they did not pay, or incorrectly filed their taxes and now owe money to the IRS, which must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If victims refuse to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license.
To avoid becoming a victim of an IRS scam, residents are encouraged to remember the following:
- The IRS first contacts people by mail — not by phone — about unpaid taxes.
- The IRS will not ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card, a money order or wire transfer.
- The IRS also will not ask for a credit card number over the phone.
- The IRS never requests personal or financial information by email, text or social media.
If you receive a call from an IRS scammer, hang up. Do not engage with these callers.
If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, or if you think you may owe money, hang up and call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.
If you get a scam call and do not owe taxes, fill out the “IRS Impersonation scam” form online at treasury.gov, or call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
The IRS also advises residents to forward scam emails to [email protected], and to not open any attachments or click on any links in those emails.
If you are ever unsure about a potential scam, contact the Berlin Police Department at 978-838-7355.